You don't know who you are until you come face-to-face with who you aren't. Nothing makes this statement more real to me than spending a week in the middle of nowhere--especially in the mid-west. I'm not a region-ist, as this may imply. I'm a realist, and let's face it--we are all pretty different. Compatible people tend to clump together in different parts of the country because it feels good--like home. That's okay. I'm okay, you're okay--as long as you stay over there and I'm over here...got it?
Despite my unexplainable fascination with rural small-towns that allow one to disappear off the grid, the mix of pseudo city and podunk country town that characterizes Eyota, MN caused an existential awakening in me. I crossed the line. I'm out of my element. And now I feel like I know who I am more than ever (though not completely). What I am not: a blind optimist, a blind pessimist, a bartender who serves popcorn instead of peanuts, a nurse with a yearning to see California, a cab driver in a one-cab-company town, a hotel receptionist really excited to make that once-a-month trip to the movies, the medical patient in the elevator joking about the water bottle in my backpack being filled with vodka (you wish, Bill Wilson), an evangelical mother of three spreading "the word" while picking at her acrylic claws, or an intellectual Starbucks barista aching to break out of this tired town. Despite finding all of the above intriguing in a human-interest sort of way, I realized that I'm just an observer looking in on them from the other side of the window. I kind of always feel this way, actually. I'm not them, and they sure as hell share this sentiment(given the looks I got while skimming "God Is Not Great" (Hitchens, 2007) in the local Barnes & Noble).
So who am I? Well, I am: present, liberal, optimistic in the face of challenge, pessimistic in the face of naiveté, a humanist, an existentialist, a humorist, an amateur anthropologist, a multi-cultural daughter of immigrants, curious, mischievous, sensitive, mildly aggressive, and a student of psychology. This blog is just a documentation of a journey through my experiences both inside and outside my head.